When we go to the hospital, we expect all of the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to take care of us and treat us to the best of their ability. Medical injuries and poor surgical outcomes are never expected. However, serious errors can happen. When those mistakes lead to life-changing injuries or even the death of a loved one, it can be devastating and traumatic.
If you find yourself wondering, “what to do if my surgeon commits negligence,” Morgan & Morgan can help. We have been handling medical malpractice cases for decades, and we are always available to assist you. No matter where you are located, we can help. We have offices and attorneys throughout the entire United States. Over the years, we have recovered more than ten billion dollars for our clients. Let us help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
What to do if your surgeon was negligent
It’s possible that you won’t know right away whether or not your doctor was negligent. Keep in mind that just because you have a poor surgical outcome or you aren’t happy with how things turned out that doesn’t automatically mean that your surgeon was negligent. If you believe that your surgeon acted negligently, you can consider speaking with your doctor or other hospital staff. Do this before you let them know you think they did something terribly wrong, and before you tell them you hired a lawyer. This way, they will be less inclined to start making up stories and covering things up in case they were negligent.
If you’re able to frame your discussion as just being concerned about your surgical outcome as opposed to asking about financial compensation or threatening a lawsuit, you can hopefully get the truth out of them. This is important for your health as well. The first thing you need to know is what happened and what exactly the problem is. If you worry your surgeon that a lawsuit is coming, it can make it really difficult for you to get the truth and ensure that you get all the treatment you need.
If you clearly still have medical issues after your surgery, the next thing you should do is contact a medical malpractice attorney. They can assist you with all the next steps you should take. Your lawyer can help you obtain your medical records, speak to your surgeon or other hospital staff on your behalf, and ensure you’re getting the care that you need to rectify the situation. When you choose an experienced lawyer, they can also help you determine if what you experienced was actually negligence, or just bad luck that led to a poor surgical outcome.
When is a surgical error considered negligence?
Many people wonder, “What to do if my surgeon commits negligence.” If you find yourself in a place where you believe your surgeon might have acted negligently and you’re wondering what to do and how to make this determination, a lawyer can help. However, it can also be helpful for you to understand what negligence really means in this context and how you can help prove it in court if it comes to that. The following are the elements that must be proven in a medical malpractice case in order to be successful with the claim:
The first element that must be shown is that the surgeon owed you a duty of care. This is generally simple to prove. Did you hire the surgeon, and did the surgeon agree to be hired? Since they performed surgery on you, the answer is almost certainly yes. This shows that a doctor-patient relationship existed, and therefore shows that they owed you a duty of care.
The next element you must show is that the surgeon breached the duty of care. In other words, you need to show that your surgeon was negligent. This is more than just a simple mistake. Not all mistakes are considered negligence. In order to show a breach of duty, you must provide evidence that the surgeon failed to meet the standard of care for a surgeon in their specialty. Would any other reasonably prudent surgeon in similar or the same circumstances have acted in the same manner as your surgeon? If yes, it may not be negligence. If not, and you can show that their care fell below the standard of care, you can satisfy this element.
In addition to showing that your surgeon was negligent, you also have to prove that you actually suffered injuries. If your surgeon was negligent but nothing negative happened as a result, that’s not enough to win a medical malpractice suit.
In addition to suffering injuries, you must prove that your injuries were caused by your surgeon’s negligence. If your surgeon was negligent but that didn’t cause your injuries, you won’t be successful. For example, if you are just unlucky and end up with an infection after surgery, but it has nothing at all to do with your surgeon’s negligence, and those are the only injuries you’ve suffered, you likely wouldn’t be successful.